This list is filled with easy principles you can start to do right now. They don’t require special equipment or trips to the health food store. They are easy and practical. Give yourself credit for starting with small changes that will impact your health in a big way and for things you are already doing. Health is achieved by good choices made each day.
1. Take off your shoes Think about where your feet have been throughout the day: streets, parks (pesticide sprayed grass), parking lots, you get the picture. Taking your shoes off at the door of your home will keep any unknown dirt off your carpets and floors. Many cultures remove shoes at the door as a sign of respect, and rightly so. They may use their common living space as the bedroom at night, rolling out a mat on the floor to sleep. Even though you might not sleep on your living room floor, taking your shoes off at the door will keep your interior cleaner. It will also extend the life of your flooring which wears down when dirt is continually ground in. You’ll clean your carpets less and save money.
2. Cook a meal at home Most take out food is heavily processed loaded with extra fat and sodium. When you cook your own meal, you can use the freshest ingredients even from a local farmer’s market in season. You’ll know what is in your food and it will be prepared fresher than any restaurant food. As a second choice, you can find healthy prepared meals from a reputable organic grocer or restaurant in your area.
3. Open your windows – Indoor air quality is often worse than the outdoors, unless you live in a high pollution area. Building materials, fabrics and household chemicals can all contribute VOC’s to your air quality. Give yourself a breath of fresh air with an exception: if you have seasonal allergies avoid opening the windows when pollen counts are high. You can also improve your indoor air quality with fresh plants and effective HEPA air purifiers if needed.
4. Go fragrance free – think twice before spraying on that perfume or using your scented body sprays. Many products with artificial fragrance are just a combination of chemicals that contribute to indoor air pollution and may actually disrupt important body systems like the endocrine and respiratory (hormone imbalance and asthma).
5. Use glass or stainless steel for cooking, food storage and beverage serveware. The effects of plastic contamination on foods are uncertain, with substances like BPA found to disrupt hormones. The safest options for cookware can also include cast iron, avoiding teflon coated surfaces which emit harmful toxins when heated. Always use glass containers or stainless steel for drinking water. We’ve used glass baby bottles in our home for years, my favorites are those covered with a bright silicone cover to protect the bottle from breaking if it falls. These also come in glass sport type bottles for adults from BuyGreen, check out my resources page for links.
6. Use the microwave less, if at all. The long term effects of microwave radiated foods is up for debate. The safer option is just to heat foods on the stovetop or in the oven which often go just as quickly for individual sized portions. If you are relying on microwave meals as a mainstay in your diet, you might want to evaluate healthier options that are just as quick and more affordable.
7. Turn off your cell phone – use the speakerphone when you can. Research shows more and more the potential risk of overusing cell phones and the effects this has on the brain. When you are not using your phone, turn it off and you will lessen your exposure to unnecessary radiation.
8. Read – labels, product packaging, research on healthy living. Be aware of what you are putting into and on your body. In order to be a wise consumer, you need to keep up on the latest findings in wellness so you can make the healthiest choices.
9. Reduce your use of plastics – Use glass or stainless steel in the kitchen, reusable bags for shopping (make sure to wash these regularly), and wood or sustainable materials in furniture toys and household items. Materials like MDF or glued pressboard emit VOC’s that can cause headaches, nausea and difficulty with concentration. Ideally drink your water out of a glass or stainless steel container. This is even more important for kids whose smaller bodies are affected more by exposure to plastic toxins.
10. Pick some weeds – Are you quick to spray weeds with chemicals? Lessen your exposure to toxins in your landscaping just by plucking up some weeds. Many weed killers are filled with neurotoxins and hormone disruptors that you’ll most likely carry into your home on your shoes. There are plenty of safe options to tackle yard issues in a Pure way. Gardens Alive is my favorite source for sustainable, organic yard care for do-it-yourselfers. We us Natural Lawns of America for our yard, they are natural lawn care service using a corn gluten product to fertilize grass without harsh chemicals. Spending time outside is always a healthful habit no matter what you’re doing.
Being healthy does not have to be complicated. These small changes in every day habits can have a long and lasting impact on your overall health.